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Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants: An Analysis of Age and ICT Competency in Teacher Education

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Journal of Educational Computing Research Volume 38, Number 3, ISSN 0735-6331


This article examines the intersection of age and ICT (information and communication technology) competency and critiques the "digital natives versus digital immigrants" argument proposed by Prensky (2001a, 2001b). Quantitative analysis was applied to a statistical data set collected in the context of a study with over 2,000 pre-service teachers conducted at the University of British Columbia, Canada, between 2001 and 2004. Findings from this study show that there was not a statistically significant difference with respect to ICT competence among different age groups for either pre-program or post-program surveys. Classroom observations since 2003 in different educational settings in Canada and the United States support this finding. This study implies that the digital divide thought to exist between "native" and "immigrant" users may be misleading, distracting education researchers from more careful consideration of the diversity of ICT users and the nuances of their ICT competencies. (Contains 7 tables and 3 figures.)


Guo, R.X., Dobson, T. & Petrina, S. (2008). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants: An Analysis of Age and ICT Competency in Teacher Education. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 38(3), 235-254. Retrieved July 19, 2019 from .

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